Talking in coffee shops? By @Edwards92Sophie

Sophie Edwards

By Sophie Edwards


Talking in coffee shops?


At 7am on Thursday morning I arrived at Gatwick North terminal to pick up my best friend from uni , Nia. Nia had just spent 2 months teaching sailing in Bermuda.  Due the chaotic nature of our friendship the only information I knew was 7am North terminal – I therefore arrived at 7am to find out she wasn’t actually going to get through until 8.30 ish – an hour and a half of time to use.


I sat in the costa staring at the arrivals gate – hoping Nia would appear. Nope. Then something amazing happened – a lady started talking to me. She asked who I was waiting for, had they been away long? We spoke. For an hour until her son arrived back from Fiji.


Now you may be like – yeah she must have been a fruit cake/ you must look like a really approachable person. Well, maybe the answer is yes to both of these – but other small conversations were also happening, strangers were sitting at tables drinking coffee together when there were clearly spare tables! MADNESS.


Why is it that these conversations flourished in the costa at the arrivals area of Gatwick North terminal and not in every coffee shop?


It got me thinking, which is dangerous after waking up early and drinking a strong coffee, the only difference between this coffee shop and others is that it is clear:


  1. people are waiting to pick someone up
  2. they are going to be there (as there is nowhere else to go) until that person arrives
  3. the person they know must have been away for some reason or another


These three things are the perfect ingredients for a conversation! You know the person isn’t in a rush, you know that they have something in common with you (you’ve both been made to do the pick up) andddddd there is something to talk about (where has that friend/ boyfriend/ mother/ son been).


So, could this work in London? Could there be designated areas depending on why you were in costa?


  1. Do not disturb area
  2. Waiting for a friend area
  3. Desperately needed a coffee area


If I was waiting for a friend with 15 minutes to spare, and I saw someone else in the ‘waiting for a friend area’ I would go in for a chat – maybe just to see if they had anything fun planned for the day that I could copy for my meet up.


Could it work? Would people talk? Should it only be at certain times in the day? Would London go into chaos? Would no one buy coffee in the fear someone would talk to them?

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